White Fir has been successfully used for wood fencing for over a decade. Without question, Western Red Cedar is the premier choice for wood fencing however it is expensive. For considerable less, you can select a White Fir fence picket that will last at least eight plus years. Why eight years? Because we have been installing white fir fence pickets for about eight years and have watched this material mature in the field. It is the alternative to cedar fencing.
Abies concolor, commonly known as the white fir is a native to the mountains of western North America, occurring at elevations of 3,000–11,200 feet. It is a medium to large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 80–195 feet tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 6.6 feet. It is popular as an ornamental landscaping tree and as a Christmas tree. Only in the last ten years has it grown popular for fencing due to the rising costs of western red cedar.
What should you expect from your White Fir fence? White Fir is very blonde in color. Since most White Fir fence boards are being harvested from old growth; most pickets are generally clear with very few knots. The quality is usually exceptional.
Fir fence pickets are more dense and harder than Cedar fence boards. Thus, Fir does not absorb and release moisture as well as Cedar so if your fence cannot adequately dry out in the sun and wind it may discolor quicker than Cedar. However, White Fir will overall hold its original color longer than Cedar but will eventually turn grey like Cedar after a couple years.
On occasion you may find a handful of boards that quickly warp after the initial install. Your contractor should be a professional who is aware of this fact and should replace these boards for you within the first couple months. This does not happen on every project but infrequently. It all depends on the picket relative to where it was harvested from the tree and what was going on with the tree prior to being harvested. In other words, was the tree growing in such a fashion that caused it to bow and bend to reach sunlight.